Car Stories: Donna Young, “Junkyard Beauty”

Cars are independence and freedom, allowing us to go on a cross-country adventure, visit friends and family, work, explore, and simply take care of our daily needs. From encounters with the authorities to junkyard beauties, early car experiences are funny, formative and become a part of who we are.

Donna Young was excited when her older sister passed her 1999 silver Malibu. The catch? The car had been more than banged up to the point where her car door would fly open. Her dad’s friend was able to find the perfect fix at a junkyard that made quite an impression. Take a listen to Donna’s car story:

“So unlike most 16 year olds, where I grew up, I actually had a sibling that was willing to give me their vehicle when I turned 16, which was very exciting. So my older sister who, to be fair, was not a great driver. So she had actually had a collision a few months earlier and that she had dented it completely in the passenger side back the rear doors. And it was basically undriveable. The car door would just fly open, so couldn’t really drive it. My dad, complete problem solver here, had a friend that worked at a junkyard said ‘don’t worry about it. We’re going to get you a new door for this car.’

“So this was a silver ’99 Malibu at his friend at the junkyard said ‘Hey, I found I found the perfect door for the car.’ Great. Put the door in for us, free of charge. Not sure how much my dad paid for this door… The car shows up the next day., I’m super pumped to go take it for a joy ride. Once again – Silver Malibu. The door that he found was was Maroon.

“So I showed up to high school, my junior year and in my new ride with my completely miscolored door. I’m pretty sure almost everyone that I knew made fun of me and loads of people I did not know. But that car lasted me actually through most of high school. I think I made it to my senior year with that thing. So, you know, as long as it drove a 16 year old, it was perfect and from now on for posterity, if my kids get a new car, they’ll know that mom had to drive around in a miscolored Malibu for a few years.”

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